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Execs: Early childhood education is a good investment

State Sen. John J. Flanagan (R- East Northport)

State Sen. John J. Flanagan (R- East Northport) reads to children after touring the early childhood center at CA Technologies in Islandia. He joined business leaders who met to tout the benefits of early childhood education. (Feb. 20, 2013) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Local officials gathered at CA Technologies Wednesday to tout the economic benefits of early childhood education programs.

Speaking at the day care center inside CA’s Islandia headquarters, the officials released a report showing every $1 invested in prekindergarten programs generates $1.86 in economic activity.

The leaders endorsed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal for $25 million in state spending in 2013-14 for full-day pre-K.

The report, from the business leaders group America’s Edge, “highlights the need to continue our commitment to our youngest students . . . to give them the tools they need to be part of a highly skilled workforce in a growing global economy,” said State Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport), chairman of the education committee.

Lisa Mars, human resources vice president at CA, said employers are looking for people with skills in math, reading, communications and critical thinking. By 2018, she said, 63 percent of the jobs statewide will require some college but only 37 percent of public school students pursue a college degree.

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